Tech Talk

← Back to episodes

TechTalk Feb 10, 2023

  • Electric air cleaners are effective in killing bacteria in HVAC systems, but must be cleaned monthly to prevent clogging and re-circulation of debris.
  • Microsoft has launched its chat version in its browser, with the aim to compete with Google and provide more conversational search algorithms.
  • Chat GPT is launching a premium version next month for $25 CAD/$20 USD with improved access and response time.
  • Google is also launching its own version called “Bard,” incorporating search results with a new algorithm, with real-time search questions and answers.
  • Android is releasing new software that turns smartphones into USB cameras for computers.
  • A new self-air conditioning tent has been created by the University of Connecticut, using a fabric that cools the inside of the tent by up to 6 degrees Celsius using evaporated water.
  • A $129 USD Nick’s hydration biosensor is available for those who need reminders to hydrate.
  • Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a soft robotic wearable to assist upper arm and shoulder movement for people with ALS.
  • A startup in Italy has created psychedelic garments that can trick facial recognition systems into thinking you’re a zebra or giraffe.
  • MIT researchers are developing a drum that can autonomously follow and assist users.

TechTalk: A Discussion on Emerging Technologies and the Future of Work

On Friday, February 11, 2023, CHML’s TechTalk welcomed Adam Oldfield and Bill Kelly to discuss the latest advancements in technology and the future of work. The hosts and guests covered a range of topics, including automation, artificial intelligence, and the gig economy, and offered insight into how these advancements will shape the way we work in the coming years.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence

One of the central themes of the discussion was the increasing role of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace. According to Oldfield, automation and AI are rapidly transforming the job market, and will continue to do so in the coming years. He noted that these technologies are making many jobs easier and more efficient, but are also leading to the displacement of some jobs.

Kelly agreed, and added that automation and AI are not just affecting blue-collar jobs, but white-collar jobs as well. He cited the example of a legal firm that is using AI to automate legal research, which was previously done by human lawyers. Kelly stated that as automation and AI continue to improve, we will see more and more tasks being performed by machines, leading to the displacement of certain jobs.

The Gig Economy

Another key topic of discussion was the gig economy, which refers to the growing number of workers who are self-employed or working short-term jobs, often through online platforms such as Uber or Airbnb. Oldfield and Kelly both agreed that the gig economy is on the rise, and will continue to grow in the coming years.

Oldfield pointed out that the gig economy is providing people with more flexibility and freedom in their work, allowing them to choose when and where they work. He also noted that the gig economy is particularly appealing to younger generations, who value flexibility and independence.

Kelly added that the gig economy is also providing opportunities for people who may not have traditional employment options, such as those with disabilities or those living in rural areas. However, he also pointed out that the gig economy can be challenging for workers, as it often lacks the security and benefits of traditional employment.

The Future of Work

In light of these advancements in technology and the growth of the gig economy, Oldfield and Kelly offered their thoughts on what the future of work might look like.

Oldfield stated that the future of work will likely be defined by a combination of automation and human work, with machines taking on more routine tasks and humans focusing on tasks that require creativity and critical thinking. He also predicted that the gig economy will continue to grow, with more and more people choosing to work for themselves rather than for a traditional employer.

Kelly agreed, and added that the future of work will also be shaped by the increasing importance of skills such as data analysis and coding. He stated that workers who possess these skills will be in high demand in the future, and will be able to command higher salaries.

However, Kelly also noted that there will be challenges for workers who do not possess these skills, and that governments will need to address the issue of job displacement caused by automation and AI. He suggested that governments could provide support for workers who are displaced, such as job training programs and unemployment benefits.

The Future of Education

Finally, Oldfield and Kelly discussed the future of education and how it will need to adapt to the changing job market. Oldfield stated that education will need to focus on developing skills that are in high demand, such as data analysis and coding, and will need to prepare students for the future of work, which will likely be defined by automation and AI.

Kelly agreed, and added that education will also need to prepare students for the gig economy